A New Way to Unwind: Learning How to Knit

* I was gifted with yarn and needles in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*

To Knit.

According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary the word knit means:  to form by interlacing yarn or thread in a series of connected loops with needles.

But I’m sure you already know what knitting looks like and may even have some knitted items in your home.

When LoveCrafts reached out to me to ask if I’d be interested in a gifted opportunity to learn to knit and share it all with you, I’ll be honest, my first reaction was to decline. However, they had mentioned how knitting can be therapeutic, a form of self-care. And so I dug deeper into the “why” of my first reaction. And discovered it was fear. Fear of not being able to complete the task. Fear of looking like a fool. I realized that it was the perfectionist in me that was trying to keep myself “safe”.

Stuck in my comfort zones.

LoveCrafts.

I always do my homework on a company prior to agreeing to work with them. I visited their website and learned that they are a global community for makers. Every month, they welcome 3 million crafters on their website, and their online community gathers 1.1 million makers and is continually growing. According to their site, they have over 50,000 yarns and 100,000 patterns to choose from. There are how-tos, guides, and top picks, so you can find tons of inspiration. And it isn’t just a space for knitters.  They also have crochet, cross-stitch, sewing, quilting, and embroidery. I even saw kits for weaving, felting, and latch hook.

I made my way to the Beginner’s Hub and watched the “How to Knit – for absolute BEGINNERS!” video. Knitting has always intrigued me as well as intimidated me. But the video made knitting looked doable.

Mental Health.

They also have an article on Knitting for Mindfulness. Most of you who have followed my journey for any length of time know that meditation is an important aspect of my life. Mindfulness is one of the forms of meditation that helps me with my anxiety.

Being mindful is being present.

In the now.

Breathe In. Pause. Breathe Out.

Our awareness of the current moment is heightened when we notice that pause.

I am a believer in both science and magic. Some of the wonders of humanity and nature cannot be explained while others can. I appreciated that the article dives into the scientific backing for why knitting is good for our mental health.

Just Say Yes.

I was so pleased by what I discovered on the site that even though my ego was screaming “you’re going to fall on your face”, I agreed to learn to knit.

I mean how could I not.

The journey on my blog is about pressing outside of comfort zones.

Trying new things.

Experiencing life.

I spent an entire year of monthlong challenges to push myself outside of those tiny barriers.

Have you ever just said yes to something that scared you because you knew it would help you grow?

Learn to knit.

100% Peruvian Wool and Knitting Needles in a scene with teapot and cups.

Yarn and needles used to knit a scarf.

Knitting Supplies.

We decided that the perfect beginner project for me would be a simple scarf. LoveCrafts has numerous Free Knitting Patterns. The pattern that I used is for the Lia Scarf.

The scarf calls for super chunky yarn.

I chose Cascade Yarns, Lana Grande in Irish Oatmeal. The yarn is 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. The beginner tutorial recommends that you start with wooden needles since there is less slippage. This pattern called for 12.00mm (US 17) needles. The ones I received are Knitter’s Pride ginger series. I just love beautiful things and these needles made me smile. The needles are made from ethical wood, sourced from sustainable forests. Also, they give a job to over 350 female artisans in Rajasthan, India. That makes me smile as well.

Learn to knit.

Knitting needles and yarn stitched in a garter stitch.

Learn to Knit.

aka: Knitting in Action.

Some of you may have forgotten, but I am left-handed. This presented my grandmother and great-grandmother issues when they were teaching me how to crochet. And in case your wondering, I can crochet a teeny, tiny bit. So I thought that I would just knit right-handed. After all, the world is set up for right-handed people and I’ve adapted with using scissors, can openers, spiral notebooks…

After the first few stitches, I could tell I was going to enjoy it but knitting right-handed was awkward and I didn’t want that to be a future deterrent. Luckily, we live in the age of amazing technology and information is at our fingertips. I watched numerous tutorials on how to knit left-handed..and I was off and running (or unwinding).

How Did it Go?

Knitting really was relaxing.

It kept my mind in the present moment. On the occasions where it slipped out of the present? Well…

One of my main pieces of advice, when you are learning to knit, is to always count your stitches. I did have to pull out stitches on occasion and found that a little confusing (BUT there are videos for that!).

As my scarf was taking form, my husband was quite impressed and kept telling me that he’d like to have it.

Will he get it?

Nope.

It’s my gift to myself to show that I can do new things.

But I did love the journey enough to make more scarves in the future and he’d be first on my list! I may even branch out and try other new-to-me forms of crafting. It was like I found a key that opened up a doorway of possibilities.

Have you tried knitting? Did you find it to be a relaxing form of crafting?

How about those comfort zones? What are you doing to push outside of them? If you move beyond them, you just might find the key to a secret garden!

If you have a craft you already love or if you’re ready to try something new, I think you’ll find that LoveCrafts has a plethora of resources and options.

As a gift for my readers, LoveCrafts is offering 20% off your signed in order over Β£10 (~$13.29 USD). Just use the code BEDLAMANDDAISIES20. This is valid until October 1, 2020, and does not include sale items, value packs, or downloadable items.

Happy Crafting!!

Learn to knit.

Amy Lyon Smith in the scarf that she knitted.

Let your light shine!

Amy

20 thoughts on “A New Way to Unwind: Learning How to Knit

  1. My wife was knitting a lot in the past. She even made pullover and jackets. In recent years she also made socks every now and then. On my flight back from Iceland end of June I watched a documentary on Icelandic wool and knitting men (not women). She also watched it and became eager to try knitting a traditional Icelandic pullover for me. It’s nearly done. Now she started another Icelandic pullover for herself. Sheβ€˜s only knitting in the evening. So I guess, she will be finished in approximately 3 weeks. Itβ€˜s done with 4 different colored wools to create the special pattern

    1. That is so awesome!! I’m amazed by the fact that people are able to knit such intricate things. I think it’ll take me a while to work up to something other than the straight lines of a scarf. lol. I looked up Icelandic pullovers. The patterns look amazing. I hope you get lots of wonderful use out of it. πŸ™‚

      1. As fall is around the corner, I will :). I understand you very well. At grammar school I also had to learn how to knit. A scarf was the homework for the summer. Furtunately, the result was never checked. I wasn’t good in knitting and it was easily to see, which parts were done by my granny :). To be honest, the scarf never got finished. It became no longer then about 15 or 20 cm by a width of 25-30 cm (so wide as the knitting needle long is). I also admire people having the patience to keep knitting fo such a long time. The quality IMHO comes with practice as it is for nearly all skills. So, stay with it and practice. (I’d like to see the results 😊)

  2. my grandmother always tried to teach me how to crochet and knit. I wouldn’t have it! too busy playing sports!! Not sure it’s in the cards now – though I LOVE LOVE a sweet knitted scarf πŸ™‚

  3. Your scarf looks great! The yarn looks soft, and those needles…I love those!

    A friend is going to teach me how to knit a winter head band thick enough to keep my ears warm. I don’t know what those are called officially, but I’d also like to knit my own beanie. She has some lovely ones. I bought some yarn, no needles though, and we planned to do it, but we never made it to get together to do it. She has this round knitting guide tool she uses that she is going to teach me how to use. So, no needles required.

    When I was 10 or 11 my mom taught me how to knit a pot holder, but I wasn’t interested after that so never knitted anything again. I would like to use the yarn I bought though if I can now remember where I put it! Store bought beanies, and those ear warmer thingies are often too big for me. One size fits most isn’t where I find myself when it comes to hats.

    If I ever do figure out how to make that head/ear covering I’d be motivated to move on to a scarf. Yours looks lovely.

    1. Thank you, Deborah! The yarn is so soft! That’s one of the things that I love about it.

      I hadn’t heard of a round knitting guide tool. It sounds interesting. I think the scarf was a good place for me to start. I still can’t wrap my head around how people make sweaters, hats, etc. The scarf is just back and forth, no turning for arms or going round and round. I may venture into something that intricate at some point. For now, I’m enjoying the scarf. πŸ™‚

  4. I love this post. Your desire to do something new, your ability to do it, what you learned along the way. Perfect. As is your finished product. I cannot knit, but I can crochet some. Two needles are too much from, but one hook… well, there’s my sweet spot. Not that I make much of anything but the process of moving the yarn around is comforting to me.

    1. Thank you so much, Ally! It took me a few rows to get the hang of two needles…and no hook on the end so I had to start slowly so that it didn’t slip off the end. The process of moving yarn around did have a nice, comforting effect. πŸ™‚

  5. My Granny taught me to crochet when I was about 6 and I learned to knit some years later. I’ve been going strong knitting for about 40 years. You’ll get never ending joy from it. What struck me about this post was your comment about fear over trying new things. I’m looking at the corner of my office/studio at a pile of art supplies. I wasn’t a bad artist in my high school days and have been dabbling for a few months. I suppose that fear of not getting it right the first time is what keeps me procrastinating. Thanks for those words. I needed that idea today. I think I’ll dip my toe in a little later.

    1. That is so wonderful that your Granny taught you how to crochet. And that sure is a good, long time to have been going strong at knitting. I certainly understand about how that fear of not getting it right the first time keeps you procrastinating. I find that to often be the case with my writing and photography. I hope you were able to dip your toes into some art. πŸ™‚

  6. knitting sounds like such a fun skill and i look forward to learning it! i feel like it would be a great activity to fill up free times and create something useful with. thanks for sharing🀍

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me!πŸ₯ΊπŸ€

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